Long ago I had watched the Hollywood movie Woman On Top. I had really liked the movie. I mean why wouldn’t I like it when there was Penelope Cruz? Well apart from that the movie also had some awesome music and rib-tickling comedy. However, there was one flaw that overshadowed all the good things about it and that is the story, or rather, the climax. Isabella is happily settled with her husband, Toninho, helping him with running his restaurant in Bahia, Brazil. Or is she? Toninho turns out to be an unfaithful git who sleeps around. Heartbroken, Isabella moves to San Francisco where she is hired by a T.V channel as a host of the show Passion Food. Isabella shoots to stardom overnight and is also courted by the producer of the show. Now husband-darling realises his folly and follows her to San Francisco, tries to woo her back, is rejected, but he does not give up, sings songs, makes cutesy faces, plants unwanted, passionate kisses and finally (hold your breath!), he incredibly succeeds! Yes, Isabella actually lets Toninho back – a cliched and most predictable ending!
Are you thinking, “Why is this guy going on about this long-forgotten movie now?”? Have patience, all in good time.
Coming closer home, to our very own Bollywood, we had Heyy Babyy (a very obvious and boring remake of the Hollywood movie Three Men and A Baby). Here Vidya Balan’s character is made a mother of a baby girl by Arush (Akshay Kumar), who is only the most successful flirt following the rule “flirt – sleep – ditch”. So it comes as no surprise when Vidya trips on Akshay having “fun” with another woman. However, what did come as a surprise (to me at least) was the fact that after a lot of wooing and cooing (really? During this wooing too Vidya is made the butt of all jokes, regardless of all the pain and trauma that she had gone through!) by Akshay, Vidya does welcome him back with open arms!
When watching Heyy Baby I had remarked to my cousin “How stupid could this woman get! She knows that the man is unfaithful, he has cheated on her in a phenomenal, life-changing way, caused her great pain and trauma, and yet she is taking him back!”
My cousin came up with the dumb reply “But he has changed. He has turned over a new leaf.”
I was like “So what? That is no reason to forgive him for playing with her emotions!”
My cousin sighed and said “You are not supposed to say that. You are a boy! If a girl was saying that, it could have been understandable.”
Now I think – Is that why such movies are made? To satisfy the male ego? In both the movies I have stated above, the females had everything going for them. They had a good new start to life, they were happy, most importantly, they were independent. So why would such forward, financially and emotionally independent and glamorous women, even give a second glance to a man who has betrayed them? The cliched answer would be “She still loves him deep down inside”. Oh pooh.. No, she doesn’t. No (21st century) woman would be so weak to take back an unfaithful husband.
If it was a case of simple misunderstanding as in the Shahrukh-Salman-Madhuri starrer Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, I would have wept tears of joy on such happy endings. However, it was a case of plain treachery. And I just couldn’t digest the fact that the protagonists would live happily forever once the movie ended (For those of you who are thinking “It was just a movie. Watch and forget”. Well I cannot do that. It is just how I am).
So one can imagine my delight when I finally witnessed a climax I desired. It was in the movie Luck By Chance. I am not saying that it is a great movie, it was slow and insipid and could have done with a lot more of editing. However, the ending was super-cool. When in the climax Farhan Akhtar, “the ruthless user”, comes to his ex-girlfriend, Konkana Sen Sharma (, whom he had dumped in favour of greener pastures in the form of star kid Isha Shravani) and confesses that he had made the biggest mistake of his life when he had ditched her and weeps his heart out, I sat back in my seat resigned to the fact that she, as all other “heroines”, will take him back. But lo, I choked on my coke when she calmly said “NO!” to him.
I (partially) remember the dialogues used. Farhan weeps to Konkona “I was a fool. I was misled by the fame I received, by the instant stardom that I shot to, and I left you. You were my anchor. You are the shore of my ocean. And I let you go. You are my only support. I need you.” (Well I am bad at translating from Hindi to English and although I am notorious for adding masala in the process, I am pretty sure this is more or less what Farhan had said.)
After Farhan ends his oh-so-sorry speech, Konkona draws a deep breath and says “What you just said confirms what I thought you to be – a selfish, egoistic person who doesn’t love anyone but himself. In all that you have said, you have talked only about yourself - YOU need an anchor, YOU need support, YOU need a shore, You need me! But there is no mention of me. Don’t I need an anchor? Don’t I need your support? In your speech you have asked me for everything but promised me nothing”.
And in my seat, with a big smile on my face, I was egging her on – “You tell him girl!“
More recently there was Dev D. Again I beg to differ with the whole world, which has been raving that it is an awesome masterpiece by Anurag Kashyap, a classic and what-not. I found it only the most boring and the slowest movie ever made. However, Dev’s Paro was strong in that she retaliated strongly and in fact, abused Dev when he accused her of treachery. She did not give a second thought before marrying someone else. She had moved on. She does not wait for her “Deva” to come back for her. She still cared for him (Doesn’t she come to his motel room and clean it and wash his clothes?) but does not love him (Doesn’t she tell him that her husband is much better in bed than Dev could be?).
So all Dev bhaiyyas, don’t mess with your girl. You know what will happen now?
I remember, after watching Luck By Chance I had remarked to my friends, “The saving grace of the movie is the ending.”
My friends looked at one another and rolled their eyes.
My eyebrow raised in an incredulous expression, I asked, “What? You wanted those two to live together pretending that all is well, after all that had happened?”
“But of course!” was their reply.
It was my turn to roll my eyes and retort, “You guys are so BC!”
Whatever the world says, I like the new, stronger avatar that the “heroines” have been given!
PS: I swear I never intended it to be so long. Sorry! And if you remember any more similar movies, please do leave them as comments. I racked my brains and came up with only these four.